Defeat is to be encountered not experienced. (Clarisse La Rue)

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Defeat is to be encountered not experienced. (Clarisse La Rue)

Post by Tumbleweed on Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:23 pm

Defeat is to be encountered not experienced.


Clarisse couldn’t believe what had just happened, they’d beaten again by the stupid punks. 56th time in a row no less she fumed, stomping her way through the woods swinging Maimer by her side. As she walked, her combat boots kicking up dust Clarisse ran her mind over  all the possible tactics that might have led to victory. It was an annoying trait, one she supposed she had inherited from her godly parent, Ares.  Clarisse ignored the hordes of campers that walking alongside her heading back to their cabins as well, grumbling from the embarrassing defeat and wisely keeping their distance from Clarisse and her wicked spear. “Its only the capture the flag! “ she heard someone say from behind her. Fighting the instinct to pulverize the idiot that was speaking, Clarisse was relieved to hear someone growl in response. 

Slowing her pace slightly, Clarisse spotted the offending girl, who looked nearly as annoyed as she felt, from the corner of her eye, A child of Aphrodite, no surprises there she thought scathingly. As a daughter of the war god, Clarisse and her siblings ofcourse, felt differently. They did not enjoy being beaten, ever, not even in silly war games. Then again, it dint happen too often and thank the gods for that, Clarisse thought slowing her pace further as she let the rest of the campers get ahead of her. She wasn’t quite in the mood for company at the moment, If it wasn’t for those blasted hunters I’d probably be having a normal day, killing some dummies, pulverizing Prissy or some other cowards on the wrestling mat. The usual. Unfortunately however, the hunters were in camp and Clarisse wasn’t happy about it and from what she could see neither were most of the other campers.

Her complete and utter dislike of the hunters of Artemis somewhat surprised Clarisse, despite herself and if she was honest with herself it wasn’t just because they always defeated the campers in the “friendly” game of capture the flag that was always hosted when they came to camp. There was more, something else that Clarisse couldn’t quite put her finger on. After all a band of strong, immortal female warriors was hardly something a female warrior would be predisposed to detest. Unpopular as they were, the hunters had earned most campers respect and even admiration. As far as Clarisse knew, many of the hunters numbers were made up of her own siblings and children of other war gods. Why then did she detest them? What was it about the hunters of artemis that made her not only irritated but also..uncomfortable?

A little consumed by her thoughts, Clarisse hadn’t realized when her slow footsteps had ground to a halt and left her standing quite still. Even the dwindling numbers of campers that had been left behind in the march back to the cabins had stopped until there were no more people around her. Although she’d been alone in the forest plenty of times before, hunting and even seeking out monsters a strange feeling settled over Clarisse leaving her feeling more than slightly discomfited. Gripping her spear a little more firmly in her right hand, Clarisse gritted her teeth and mentally chided herself, Whats wrong with you? Are you afraid of the woods now?  There’s nothing in here that can defeat you. Yet whether it was because of the recent defeat she had faced or the strange indescribable feeling that had settled over her, the words seemed strangely hollow. Resolving not to let her imagination run away with her, Clarisse let the arm holding the spear fall to her side, but dint relax the iron-cast grip she had on it. It was just as well I dint, she would later think.

 Crack. Clarrise let out a small growl, whirling on spot as she turned 180degrees her spear held at the ready for whatever monster had snuck up on her. What she wasn’t ready for however was the figure that stood a few metres ahead of her, hands raised in the air in a gesture of peace. “Zoe Nightshade”, she said, her voice betraying more surprise than she’d have liked it to as she surveyed the prissy, strangely princess-like leader of the Hunters of Artemis. “I could have run you through with my spear.” She growled, lowering her spear a little grudgingly but not loosening her grip on it.

“Forgive me. I did not mean to startle thee.” The huntress said calmly, lowering her own hands as she returned Clarisse’s glare with a strangely soft gaze.

“You dint- I wasn’t startled.” Clarisse grumbled. Perfect. All I need is someone to rub defeat in my face now. And it isn’t just any hunter but the leader of them all, the uptight one herself has graced me with her presence. “What do you want?” she said, not caring that she sounded rude but she wasn’t about to kneel to this girl just because she’d won in some stupid game. “Shouldn’t you be off having your victory party or whatever?”

Zoe looked a little surprised at this, she clearly hadn’t expected the animosity in Clarisse’s voice. Her features morphed into a somewhat haughty expression as she answered, “It is beneath the hunters to celebrate such small victories.” She was lying ofcourse, she knew her fellow hunters would be celebrating in Cabin 8 as they spoke. Our 56th victory in a row. Poor Chiron. She thought, unable to hold back a small smirk. Looking up however, she noticed that the girl ahead of her looked less than pleased, not wanting to start off on a sour note she added, “Thy defenses were strong. Do not be disheartened. You put up a brave front young one.”

Clarisse’s eyes flashed at that, it was bad enough to face defeat with her entire camp in tow; she really wasn’t about to stand and watch as Zoe Nightshade smirked at her. “Don’t condescend to me princess.” She snapped, “I’d take you on in a one on one battle any time.”

Zoe smiled, it was this very spirit that she’d been impressed by. She’d watched as the daughter of Ares had organized her troops efficiently and led them herself, fighting well with anyone that crossed her path and darting across the game field to assist her team. If she had been facing any other opponent than the hunters, she thought fairly, they wouldn’t have stood a chance. Although Zoe had encountered Clarisse previously, she hadn’t quite noticed nor appreciated the girl’s fiery spirit until this time. “I know. Not the best choice perhaps, but brave. I wouldn’t expect anything less from a warrior of thy caliber.” She said, her eyes never leaving the girls face.

Clarisse’s own eyes widened, she spat a lock of her stringy brown hair away from her face and stared at the huntress in obvious surprise. She’d expected jeers sure, some sarcastic comments and ribbing, if things got out of hand maybe even an attack, but compliments? She wasn’t quite prepared for that. Clarisse felt that strange discomfited feeling again, that she always got in the presence of the hunters as she wondered how to respond. “Uh, thanks I guess.” She said, shifting a little awkwardly in her tense position.

 Zoe took a tentative step forward, the moment is close she thought to herself. Slightly gratified that surprised as she looked, Clarisse did not step backward or shift her stance, Zoe edged even closer until she stood directly ahead of the girl, her own slender figure seemingly standing in contrast to Clarisse’s well built and muscular structure. “A warrior like thyself would flourish in the company of her own kind.” she said carefully,  “Surely thou realizes how well being a hunter would suit thy.”

Clarisse looked as though she’d been smacked between the eyes. A hunter? Me? Well now that it was being posed to her it seemed like an obvious option. Travelling the country, training, fighting monsters, being immortal..what was not to like? Clarisse gulped, as the reason she’d always disliked the hunters came to her in a single stroke of understanding, she identified too closely with them. They were too much like her, it made her uncomfortable. Barely having registered the uncomfortably close distance at which Zoe Nightshade now stood, Clarisse shook her head slightly as though coming out of a daze. What about Chris? The thought came unbidden to her mind and almost as soon as it did, she wished she could shake it away. She hadn’t seen Chris in ages, he’d disappeared at the end of last year and hadn’t left her means to contact him or indication that he was alive. Her mouth smashed into a hard line as she thought about this, knowing even as she did that she was more worried than angry and despising the emotion in the same thought.

As though reading her mind-or probably the emotions scrolling on and off her face, Zoe interrupted Clarisse’s thoughts, “Is it a boy?”

Clarisse looked up, “No” she said almost too quickly, adding with as much clam as she could muster into her voice, “Camp is my home. I have friends, loyalities here. Look I appreciate the offer, but no thanks.”

Zoe’s eyes hardened, “Im sorry that thou feels that way. The hunters would been privileged to receive thou as a sister.” Despite the girl’s feeble reassurances, Zoe was sure the refusal was because of a male, as it usually was. Wasteful she thought bitterly, when would girls realize that no good could come out of trusting men?


Despite registering the change in the huntress’ tone, Clarisse did not let on and instead shrugged rather non-chalantly, “I’ll keep it in mind.” She said casually, in a tone that made it clear that she dint plan to.

Zoe nodded curtly and took a quick stride forward and pressed something into Clarisse’s free palm, “If thou were to change thy mind..” she said a little coldly before stalking off in the direction of camp, without a backward glance.

Clarisse opened her palm to see a silvery calling card for the Hunters of Artemis, looking up at Zoe’s retreating figure in the distance, Clarrise quietly slipped the card into one of the many pockets on her khaki shorts. Then snorting a little at Zoe’s expression at being refused, Clarrise turned in the opposite direction, she wasn’t the only one that had suffered a defeat today.

Words: 1736

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Tumbleweed
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